Articles of the Day


Yahoo Starts Limited Beta Of New Front Page — A week after AOL unveiled its new-look front page with lifestreaming and e-mail aggregation, Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) is starting limited random beta tests of new home pages—and we mean limited—to less than one percent of users in the U.S., UK, France and India. The beta emphasizes apps from Yahoo and from third parties, including a dashboard with a way to view email from multiple providers similar to that launched last week by AOL (NYSE: TWX). Unlike AOL, though, Yahoo plans more customization and personalization of the home-page experience. Kara Swisher calls it My Yahoo lite. Tapan Bhat, the SVP responsible for the Front Door, explained the changes and the testing on Yodel Anecdotal, the company’s official blog.

Murdoch: WSJ.com Sub Revs Could Increase by $300 Million in Next Few Years — Rupert Murdoch could never be faulted for not being ambitious: at Goldman Sach’s Communacopia conference today, he said that WSJ.com’s online subscription revenue will increase by $300 million per year over the next several years. The site just relaunched this week, and even though exact revenue figures are not available, estimates on sub revenues are around $80 million per year. This means it would have to increase current prices (which Murdoch has previously said they would) and also bring in lotsa new subscribers into the fold. He also has big hopes on ad revenues from the site even though it remains a hybrid site: he said WSJ.com could generate $100 million annually in advertising revenue, and that the company is charging $100K a day for advertisers on its home page. As for MySpace revenues, he said advertisers are charged an average of $500K per day for space on its home page, and up to $1 million.

Discovery Shareholders Approve Plan To Go Fully Public; CEO Zaslav Sees Deals — Any entity with Liberty Media (NSDQ: LINTA) DNA takes some time to unpack, but Discovery should now get a bit simpler… Wednesday shareholders of Discovery Holdings officially approved a plan to create a singular Discovery Communications (NSDQ: DISCA) Inc, owning both Discovery and Animal Planet. The shareholder approval marks a formal conclusion to a plan hatchedlast December between Discovery Holdings and Advance/Newhouse. See more in the release and further explanation from WSJ. So what’s next for the network? CEO David Zaslav told Bloomberg that the new arrangement gives Discovery a “chance to make opportunistic acquisitions.” Specifically, the company is looking for complementary businesses (in the past, it has acquired Treehugger.com and HowStuffWorks) and more growth overseas. A pure Discovery currency could also help with matters of employee retention and compensation—a pretty common justification for these type of arrangements.

Newspapers Still Dominate Local, But TV And Radio Growth Rates Zoom Ahead: Borrell — Local newspapers sites still generate the highest ad revenues, at an estimated $3.7 billion, but local radio and TV sites’ growth rates are double, a report from local media analyst Borrell Associates, with help from BIA Financial, predicts. Aside from the worsening economy and chaos on Wall St., newspapers’ growth is hindered by its limited diet of display ads and the usual pool of marketers they tend to rely on for the print side. But the report also shows that newspapers, along with local TV and radio, are still relatively strong versus internet companies not tied to traditional media. That said, the rise of TV and radio will continue to cut into newpapers’ local dominance.

Earnings: Adobe Quarterly Revs Up 4 Percent: Net Income Up 11 Percent; Company Thanks Online Video — Adobe (NSDQ: ADBE), the company behind the widely used Flash technology, reported revenue of $887 million for the quarter ended August 29, representing a 4.2 increase from $851.7 million in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted EPS grew 11 percent to $.50 per share, compared to $.45 a year ago. The top line slightly edge past the company’s own (wide) forecasted range of $855 to $885 million. Shares in the company, which attributed its growth to its Acrobat and Livecycle Products, are ticking up mildly in early trading. On the company’s quarterly conference call, management talked up the company’s strong position in online video, rattling off various stats about the extent of Flash-based video on the web and various customer wins—China’s CCTV used Adobe Flash and Flex to deliver Olympics coverage during the recent games. What’s interesting in reading through the transcript, is that while analysts understand that Adobe is behind Flash, they still don’t understand how the money is made. Said CEO Shantanu Narayen: “I do want to clarify again, when you see a lot of the video on the web that’s being streamed, it is being streamed through the usage of a Flash video streaming server that Adobe providers, or a Flash Media Server, and the way we monetize it is—think of it as megabytes served, so as the volume of Flash video increases, we have a direct correlation to driving revenue for Adobe.” Narayen also explained how the company would make money on AIR, its internet apps technology—he explained that it would drive usage of the Creative Suite technology, as well as its ability to push usage of the Flash server.

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